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Legal?: Iranian husband beheads 17-year-old wife in ‘honour killing’

The so-called “honour killing” of a woman at the hands of her husband has caused nationwide outrage in Iran and criticism of the judicial system.

An honour killing is the murder of an individual, either an outsider or a member of a family by someone seeking to protect what they see as the dignity and honour of themselves or their family.

The man beheaded his 17-year-old wife in Ahvaz, south-western Iran, at the weekend before walking into the street with her head in his hand.

This was captured in photos and video footage that was circulated on social media.

On Thursday, Iranian prosecutors announced that the man and his brother had been arrested in connection with the killing and would be soon be tried.

In addition, the media would no longer be allowed to publish videos and pictures of the crime.

It is unclear whether the husband and his brother of the slain woman will be tried for murder or a so-called honour killing, which is still considered legitimate by parts of the population in Iran.

Chief Public Prosecutor Mohammed Jafar Montaseri declined to comment, saying only that the internet and social media were responsible for such acts.

Critics say that all killings of this sort should be considered murder and tried as such.

The death penalty is usually imposed for murder in Iran, but different legal criteria apply to honour killings.

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